Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Portrait Practice

I'm starting off today's post with a confession. My confession is that I would much rather be curled up in a soft chair under a warm blanket than sitting here in this uncomfortable desk chair at 8:49 on a Thursday night.

But I made a commitment to myself that I would post on my blog every Thursday. Given that one of the words I would choose to describe myself is dependable, not posting seems like a bad choice.

As a rule I find it easier to keep my external commitments, the ones I make to other people, than I do to keep the ones I make to myself. I’m wondering if that is typical for most people. Do you find it easier keeping your word when you make a promise to someone else, or when you make one to yourself?

For the case of this current challenge, I am telling myself my commitment is to my readers. That helps keep my butt in this hard chair instead of wimping out.

I can feel your sympathy. Really I can.

But enough about me and my struggles…

During my studio time today I finished a new painting. As much as I would love to share it here, I am going to have to wait and keep it under wraps for another month or so.

Instead I am sharing my latest round of portrait practice. I did these sketches over the weekend. I used magazine photos for my references.
practice sketch 10
graphite on paper
©2011 Stacy L. Rowan
practice sketch 11
graphite on paper
©2011 Stacy L. Rowan
Now a summary of what I learned from this round…
  • I think I am going to need to stick to a sketching style that combines line with value. When I try to draw without values I can’t get over the feeling that something is missing.
  • The smaller sketches were easier because there were fewer details in the features. This made it simpler for me to concentrate on the shapes of the shadows without getting hung up in all the different parts of the eye, for example.
  • Practice builds confidence. Even with as few as four sketches, I could feel a difference between the first and the last. By the last sketch my speed had improved marginally and I was more pleased with the quality of the result.
  • I am enjoying this portrait practice much more than I expected. I hope you are enjoying it too, as I plan to keep sharing my progress.
Okay, now I'm off to find that comfy seat and warm blanket. See you next week!


Rose Welty said...

Thanks for braving it in the hard chair - love these sketches and hearing the excitement in your voice as you talk about it!

Jennifer Rose said...

nice sketches :) i think the second style suits you more then the first, looks more natural if that makes sense

enjoy the comfy blanket, sounds like a good idea right now

Mary Jane said...

Hi Stacy - Sounds like a good plan to post on Thursdays.
re your question: I find it hard to make promises to myself but if I promise someone else I get down to meeting deadlines.
The portraits look like fun.